Category Archives: Tenor Guitars

Tenor Guitars

Big Red

bigredPossibly the first four-string cello guitar (tuned CGDA), BIG RED combines the best qualities of the flat-top guitar and the mandocello in one instrument. Originally based on a Bourgeois slope-shouldered dreadnought body, BIG RED is built with padauk back and sides, a spruce top, and a long 26.5″ scale (similar to a cello) that projects powerful bass response, great sustain, and clear separation of tones. BIG RED has none of the weak muddiness of most acoustic bass guitars, and none of the wimpiness of most mandocellos. Bass (even slap bass), rhythm, or melody are all possible on this unique hybrid instrument.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Body Length Scale Length
40 5/8″ 11 3/8″ 15 7/8″ 4 7/8″ 20 1/8″ 26 1/2″

Flying TV

flyingtvnatural flyingtvyellowWhy anyone would want a V-shaped guitar is a question that only V-shaped guitar owners can answer. But, despite its meteoric crash on the guitar market when originally introduced in the late 50s, the Flying V has endured and, in fact, become a “classic” design in the world of weird shaped guitars. Unfortunately (or fortunately for Earnest Instruments) a tenor V was apparently never produced. Again, why would anyone want a V-shaped tenor guitar? Whatever!

For all those who have been waiting all these decades, here–at last–is the FLYING TV electric tenor guitar. With a bolt-on mahogany neck and two-way adjustable truss rod, the FLYING TV features a rosewood fretboard with pearloid dots, Kent Armstrong mini-humbucker pickups, Gotoh keystone tuners, a tunematic bridge, and a custom V shaped tailpiece. Available in mahogany, alder, or limba (aka Korinna), the FLYING TV can be finished in clear gloss lacquer, or your choice of colors including TV yellow (as shown in the photos).

Great for rock, metal, country, blues, jam, outer space—or wherever you’d want a V-shaped tenor guitar. The FLYING TV is destined restore the V-shaped tenor guitar to its rightful position at the leading edge of the forefront of the avant guard of the je-ne-sais-quoi of tenor guitar music!

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Custom colors: please inquire

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Body Length Body Width Body Depth Scale  Length Neck Width at Nut
38 1/2″ 18 1/2″ 15″ 1 1/2″ 23″ 1 1/8″

Radiator

radiator

5-string Radiator

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4-string Radiator

It’s acoustic; it’s electric; it’s resophonic; it’s the RADIATOR – Earnest Instruments’ latest “resocoustilectric” tenor guitar! Available in either four or five string (suggested tuning, FCGDA) models, the RADIATOR features a hollow thinline ash body, bolt-on maple neck with two-way truss rod, rosewood fretboard, and National-style cone and biscuit bridge. The unique “apostrophic” soundholes enhance the bass and midrange harmonics giving the RADIATOR a loud and full acoustic sound. Plugged in, The RADIATOR just cooks with tone. Standard electronics include a lipstick tube pickup and a McIntyre piezo transducer with tone and volume controls and a three-way switch. Standard finish is satin lacquer with a translucent blonde color. Other finishes and electronic options are available. Rectangular hardshell case included

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Neck Width at nut Scale Length
36″ 9″ 13 3/8″ 2″ 4-String: 1 1/8″5-String: 1 7/16″ 23″

Rosetta “au Naturel” Electric Tenor Guitar

rosetta_an_b rosetta_an_fHere’s what Rosetta looks like without all the glitz…the gold, the pearl inlay, the sunburst, the binding, the deep…dark mahogany finish. It’s Rosetta stripped down to basics…a head, a neck, a body…no fillers, dyes, flashy gizmos, or shiny stuff added. Just many coats of oil and wax, hand rubbed into her body…giving her a soft, satiny feel. Her body is butternut…lightweight, coffee colored, with plenty of dark sinewy grain, similar in tone to the finest swamp ash. Her bolt-on neck is long and thin…mahogany, oiled, open pored…with a rosewood fingerboard, and modest dot inlays. Available with one or two single coil or humbucking pickups…Rosetta swings, blues, rocks, rolls, or jazzes it up with the flick of a switch. Comes with a black nylon gigbag. Available in short 21.25″ or long 22.5″ scale.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Body Length Scale Length Neck Width at Nut
36″ 9″ 13″ 1 3/4″ 17″ 21 1/4″ or 22 1/2″ 1 1/8″

Tenorcaster

tenorcaster

Custom 5-String Tenorcaster

Custom 5-String Tenorcaster

Often viewed as a transition instrument between Dixieland banjo and swing guitar, the tenor guitar really has a sound and style of its own. It can be heard in country music, western swing, and jazz. Today, it is also finding a place in contemporary folk and pop music, as well as Celtic and other ethnic styles. The electric tenor guitar is nothing new, but the TENORCASTER is a new combination of two classic American guitars, the tenor and the Tele. The standard Kent Armstrong Hot Tele pickups favor the low and mid range harmonics giving the guitar a big, fat tone, with plenty of twang if needed. The TENORCASTER has a 23″ scale that works well for standard tenor tuning (CGDA), octave mandolin tuning (GDAE), as well as guitar and other open tunings (26.25″ plectrum scale available at no extra cost). Available in ash or butternut, with a clear, tinted, or opaque finish.

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Body Length Scale Length
34″ 10″ 12 3/8″ 1 3/4″ 16″ 23″

Rosetta Electric Tenor Guitar

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2 pick-up Rosetta

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3 pick-up Rosetta

A classic electric tenor guitar with a single cutaway, chambered mahogany body, bound spruce top, mahogany set-neck, and a tunematic bridge with a stop tailpiece, Rosetta is designed with the jazz or rock tenor guitarist in mind, but just about any style music can be adapted to its mellow, substantial tone and long sustain. Available with one, two, or even three pickups, either single coil or humbucking, this lightweight guitar can be customized to fit any player’s needs. A choice of finishes is also available, including tinted, sunburst, black, or gold top, with nickel, or gold hardware, dot or block inlays. And lastly, Rosetta is available in standard tenor (23″) or plectrum (26.25″) scales, as well as shorter scales for improved playability and a mellower tonal range. Comes with a fitted hardshell Les Paul style case, for ease of portability, and excellent protection.

rosetta1

Rosetta Back

w/single Kent Armstrong pickup, rosewood fretboard,
dot inlays, tinted spruce top, hsc – $1950
w/bound ebony fretboard and block inlays – add $250
w/2 Kent Armstrong pickups –add $100
w/3 Kent Armstrong pickups – add $150
w/black or gold top – add $75
w/sunburst top – add $125
w/gold hardware – add $75

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Body Length Scale Length Neck Width at Nut
36″ 9″ 13″ 1 3/4″ 17″ 23″ 1 1/8″

Selma Acoustic Tenor Guitar

selma

Selma

Mario Maccaferri had several distinguished careers as a gifted classical guitarist, a brilliant luthier, and a highly successful plastics manufacturer. His guitar designs for the Selmer Company and their subsequent refinements made musical history and are regarded as one of his crowning achievements (perhaps even greater than his 9 million plastic ukuleles!). While Selmer did make some tenor guitars, as well as the infamous Eddie Freeman Special with its unique tuning and powerful sound, they were not as well accepted as the 6 string models and were later discontinued. Earnest Instruments has picked up the ball and created Selma, a scaled down tenor version of the Django Reinhardt Model, the top of the Selmer line and the instrument endorsed and played by Django himself. Selma incorporates the “petite bouche” that gave that instrument its renowned projection, as well as its uniquely arched top, floating bridge, slot head, and distinctive tailpiece. Selma is available in a variety of tonewoods including mahogany, rosewood, koa, maple, and walnut, and in several scale lengths from 21″ to 23″ (a plectrum model is also available)

selmaedhead

Eddy Davis headstock

selmatop

Selma top detail

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Depth of Sides Body Length Scale Length Neck Width at Nut
33 -35″ 9 3/4″ 14 3/4″ 3 3/4″ 16 1/2″ 21″ – 23″ 1 1/8″

Veronica

 

veronicaveronicabackArchtop tenor guitars from the 30s and 40s were often little more than a tenor neck stuck on a standard six string guitar body. The result was usually an outsized, overbuilt, and under-responsive instrument with little volume and a thin, nasal sound. VERONICA, on the other hand, is designed to be a tenor guitar. The body cavity is correctly sized to respond to tenor tuning, to maximize power and improve tone. The instrument has the throaty “thunk” you’d expect from an archtop rhythm guitar, as well as a sweet, clear tone when playing single notes. VERONICA is also available as a cutaway in a standard clear blonde finish, or a deluxe sunburst with block inlays. A Kent Armstrong humbucker pickup, mounted to the pickguard, with a volume control and endpin jack (as shown below) is also available.

verocutawayverocutawayback

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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Total Length Width-Upper Bout Width-Lower Bout Max. Depth of Body Body Length Scale Length
35″ 9″ 13″ 3″ 17″ 23″